Venters, Rauch have perfect outings in losses; Mesaraco, Sappelt among Southern League top prospects

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Colling Cowgill; Photo: UK Athletics

Kentucky highlights from Thursday playoff action and the latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Atlanta Braves left-handed reliever Jonny Venters, born in Pikeville, pitched a perfect one and two-thirds innings while striking out two in the team’s 1-0 loss to San Francisco.
  • Former Morehead St. right-handed pitcher Jon Rauch retired both batters he faced in the Twins’ 5-2 loss to the Yankees. Lexington native Austin Kearns did not appear in the game for the Yankees.
  • In Baseball America‘s top 20 Southern League prospect rankings, Ian Gordon ranks Louisville Bats catcher Devin Mesaraco No. 7 and Bats outfielder Dave Sappelt No. 15.
  • In the accompanying online chat Gordon wrote of former UK outfielder Collin Cowgill: “He’s got that Sheffield-like barrel wrap and high finish, and he basically has CF skills out there in left. He does struggle with good fastballs, though, and might be the kind of guy who turns out to have Triple-A batting tools.” (subscription required)
  • Western Kentucky University has announced its fall practice schedule.
  • Michael Grant of The Courier-Journal reports Bats manager Rick Sweet has still not heard from the Reds if he will be back in Louisville in 2011.
  • John Erardi of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports 2010 Bats left-handed pitcher Aroldis Chapman could have a similar impact on this season’s playoffs as Francisco Rodriguez had for the Angels during his rookie season in 2002.
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